Dorothea Orem's nursing theory is based upon the philosophy that "patients wish to care for themselves." They can recover more quickly and holistically if they are allowed to perform their own self-care to the best of their ability.
Orem’s general theory of nursing is made up of three interrelated theories namely: self-care, self-care deficit and nursing systems. The major concepts the theory include self-care, self-care agency, self-care requisites (which can either be universal, developmental, and/or health deviation) and the therapeutic self-care demand. A self-care deficit exists when the self-care therapeutic demands exceed self-care agency. Nursing systems involve nursing agency and the design of nursing systems for care (wholly compensatory, partially compensatory and supportive-educative). Orem’s nursing process is a three-step process which include: diagnosis and prescription, nursing systems design, and production and management of nursing systems.
It is believed that Orem's theory portrays the ideas that nursing is the ability to care for another, especially when they are unable to care for themselves. This corresponds to our philosophy of caring for person with the goal of achieving optimal level of health and wellness.